Episode #502 of “Media Edge” (initial airing on cable TV during the period of December 20-26, 2014) includes:
"An Evening With Angela Davis" (1 hour, 41 minutes) Social equality activist Angela Davis spoke to a capacity crowd at St. Mark's United Methodist Church in Sacramento on December 5. With recent events in Ferguson and New York on everyone’s mind, Ms. Davis spoke eloquently about these and related concerns. A Media Edge crew was on hand to record this inspirational event. Ms. Davis, 70, is a political activist, scholar, and author. She emerged as a controversial leader in the 1960s, associated with the Communist Party USA, and the Black Panther Party. Ms. Davis was arrested, charged, tried, and acquitted of conspiracy in the 1970 armed takeover of a Marin County courtroom – four people died in the incident. Ms. Davis is the founder of Critical Resistance, an organization working to abolish the prison-industrial complex. She is a retired professor with the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a former director of the university’s Feminist Studies department.
"The Beast Destroying Our Neighborhoods" (2 minutes) This animated short from Brave New Films describes our prison system as a beast, gobbling resources that should be going to communities. The United States is paying to have 2.3 million people behind bars. That's more than China, more than Iran. More than any country on earth. More than half the prison population is in for non-violent offenses. This video was done in partnership with the ACLU, Equal Justice Initiative, All of Us or None, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, NAACP, A New Way of Life, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, Justice Policy Institute, Drug Policy Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, the United Methodist Church, Justice Fellowship, and Partnership for Safety and Justice.
"How Protect and Serve Became Search and Destroy" (3 minutes) Quick facts on Police Militarization: 1. The Pentagon’s Excess Property Program (1033 Program) has supplied police departments across the country with more than $4.3 billion in gear since 1997. This includes $449 million in 2013. 2. St. Louis County, where Ferguson is located, received two military vehicles, a trailer, a generator, 12 5.56-millimeter rifles and six .45 caliber pistols from the Pentagon. 3. Military style police raids have increased in recent years, with one count putting the number at 80,000 such raids last year. 4. In SWAT style raids, people of color are most affected - 37% were Black, 12% Latino, and 19% White. Race was not known for the remainder. Police militarization grew out of our failed drug war. Does a town of 2,200 need a massive military tank? Of course not. Military grade gear does not improve the safety and security in small towns. It’s time for the militarizing of police to end.
"How Martin Luther King's Dream Became A Nightmare" (10 minutes) When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave the "I Have a Dream" speech 50 years ago, he had no idea Jim Crow would be replaced with another oppressive system: mass incarceration and the drug war. Nixon started the drug war just 8 years after King's "I have a Dream" speech. Both Reagan and Clinton continued it. In 2013 a study found that more black men were incarcerated then were enslaved in the 1850. It's our turn to dream how to end mass incarceration. If you have a felony on your record, it's harder to get a job and you also cannot get many forms of public assistance. In Dothan, Alabama, T.O.P.S. is offering support for people just getting out of jail - everything from clothes to GED. This is one way to end mass incarceration. It is important to see the links between civil rights, voting rights, and the drug war. This Brave New Films video was produced in partnership with the NAACP, NAACP of Alabama, National Congress of Black Women, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, PICO, Healing Communities, V.O.T.E., Project South, The Ordinary People Society, Operation People for Peace, New Jim Crow Movement (Jax), YourBlackWorld, All of Us or None, Drug Policy Alliance, Dream Defenders, CURE, Advocare, Campaign to End Jim Crow, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, and Direct Action for Rights & Equality (DARE).